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Lewis, (Percy) Wyndham

ford artistic art writer

(US, 1882–1957)

Lewis was born in the United States but spent most of his life in Britain. He was a brilliant polymath and founder of the Vorticist art movement, who deliberately stoked up dissent and controversy between the wars in London artistic and literary circles. Always a prickly character and never an easy writer, his most accessible novel is The Revenge for Love (1937), about an artistic group with communist sympathies, and how their political naïvety leaves them open to cynical exploitation and betrayal. Lewis aimed for jagged prose in his satirical first novel, Tarr (1918), set in the bohemian art world of Paris, in which the characters are mouthpieces for Lewis's élitist views of society. The Childermass (1928) is a fantastical presentation of philosophical ideas; The Apes of God (1930) a savage satire on arty poseurs and intellectual frauds as were exemplified for him by the Bloomsbury group. An extremist in everything, his right-wing views had Lewis labelled the most hated writer in Britain.

Aldous Huxley, Ford Madox Ford, Iris Murdoch  TH

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